Although I feel that I have nowhere near enough experience to write such a post I thought it would be interesting to catalogue the things experience has taught me in my 3 years lead climbing. There are many things that you can “learn” from a book, but in my opinion it is being at the sharp end of the rope that teaches you the skills that stay with you for life.
A couple of quotes about experience
The two quotes below suit me perfectly. I can be really rubbish at learning things by being told and often just learn “on the job.” As well, in the past I have learnt most when it has all gone terribly wrong!
“People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” (Paulo Coelho)
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” (Evan Hardin)
So, here we go in no particular order a few things I have learnt over the past few years.
1) Classic routes of a low grade are often way harder than you would expect (They were hard as nails back in the day don’t you know!)
2) A wee drink before a route may increase confidence but it severely ruins your balance.
3) Taking a few falls on your gear massively improves your confidence, as long as the gear holds.
4) 99% of the time you will be scared of a fall that never happens!
5) Routes put up by Joe Brown will be nails, possibly bold and may include some unorthodox moves!
6) Bouldering with your top off increases your power (There has to be a reason for all these half clad boulderers!)
7) Routes tend to look easier when someone else is doing them.
8) Routes tend to look easier from the safety of your computer.
9) Trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
10) Placing a crap micro nut is often better than placing nothing at all (psychologically)
11) A cup of something hot is the perfect end to a cold day.
12) A pint at the local pub is the perfect end to any day.